Genwunner Plays Brilliant Diamond
By: Justin Hopkins
And we are back! I have been looking forward to playing this game, to a point. Had a real blast going through the gens for the blog series and the fourth gen (Platinum) had quite to offer. Including, what I think, and quite a few others will agree with, the toughest battle the series has to offer. While the trailer certainly didn’t look good. Was still willing to give it a fair shake. Now, the journey is done, lets discuss shall we.
Kicking things off with news reports of a Red Gyarados and we join, Mui. Tracking down or friendly rival, the villainous Paulie this time. Finding him at his house and started toward the lake, only to have to go back, because he forgot something. Threatening to fine me various amounts if I didn’t beat him to the lake. Whatever, still better than Hop, you be you. Making it to the lake, where we see Rowan and his assistant Lucas talking to each other. When they leave, they forget the briefcase, and we go to get it; are attacked by Starly. The case pops open and Chris, the Chimchar joins the team. In case they didn’t fix the fire Pokemon issue (they did not). Storming my way through everything, with a bit of back and forward before I was on my way. Putting off getting pokemon for a moment. Trying to not repeat my team from Platinum. Checking off boxes in Jubilife City and dealing with Paulie. When I encountered a Budew that I named, Rebecca. Who nearly swept Rourke, but his Cranidos got a lucky shot in, bit the newly evolved Monferno got revenge. Coming across Rowan belittling Team Galactic, and had to team with Lucus and made my way to Floaroma Town and was given a Mew and Jirachi. Taking a moment to think that over a bit. Not really my play style, but never had one this early in the game so meet in the middle. Boxed Jirachi and Claire, The Mew joined the team. Just as a safety net if I find myself in trouble down the line. Picking up a Shellos that I called Jill, before Chris surprisingly downed the monster Purugly with a few Power up punches. Trying to focus on Budew in Eterna Forrest, but plant vs plant and bug is nightmarishly slow. Meeting Cynthia and spent way longer then I should figuring out what was a stomp, in Gardenia’s Gym. Along with Galactic Headquarters to get my bike. Oh, and Ralts named Sherry made the team. Getting in early weapons in the Cynthia fight. With Fantina away, I spent to much time in the contest halls of Hearthome City. Along with another Paulie fight and shortly after, Budew became Roselia. Blowing through Solaceon and onto Veilstone. Ralts to Kirlia and Monferno to Infernape. Blowing through Maylene and the goons who stole the Pokedex. My focus changing to get the leather coat. Pastoria was a cake walk for Roselia and Sherry playing backup. Same with Paulie who got in my way as I chased a Galactic Goon and Cynthia redirected me to Celestic. Which I headed straight for and had to turn around… Forgot to get Defog. Anyways, Celestic town came and went, and set sights on Fantina… who beat me. Her Gengar kept getting off Confuse Rays and my team insisted on punching themselves in face. Conclave City brought another face-off with Paulie and after a detour to go get Flamethrower, Chris made short work of the Gym. Our meeting at the Library was cut short and we ran off to find out what blew up. Finding Galactic had set off explosions at the lake at two of the three were gone. Racing off to check on Paulie, but not before Chris dealt with another gym, only it was to late and we had to go to the Headquarters to try and save the day. Once I got the Masterball and saved the guardian, began to get excited for The Distortion World… which is not in the game. The Cyrus fight ending and the Guardians just freed Dialga for me to Masterball and put in a box. Dejectedly, I continued, Wolkner was no match for Jill and for the first time, I slowed down. The flashbacks starting to hit me. I was drastically unprepared the last time I faced this Elite four. This time around, thought I had a solid answers for most of the Elite Four. As long as I can keep Sherry alive for Garchomp, with Mew having Avalanche just in case.
The Cynthia Fight
Putting Paulie in his place one last time, I threw myself at them to see where I was and barring a struggle with Lucian. We did make it to Cynthia, but since Chris was my highest level at 56. Cynthia did not have much of a hard time punching me out. So, stepping back and went for the shiny stone to get a Roserade of my own, and threw myself at the league. Win or lose, best way to grind and rounds two, three, and four all ended the same. Taking Cynthia down to Garchomp and he swept me out each time. Learning early, do not put in Ada, the Kricketune, who was never worth mentioning, in with Garchomp. Even as a chance to try and revive Sherry. Garchomp would simply take the chance to simply Swords Dance and take away any fleeting hope I might have. Spiritomb was the problem. Sherry needed to take him out, but couldn’t one hit it. Turn three, Sherry took him down to under half, withstood a Shadow Ball. So, I went for Drain Kiss, to squeeze out a bit of health. For her to swap into Roserade, got poisoned and died from poison damage. On the Fourth shot, Chris was my last Pokemon standing and took him down with Close Combat for Rough Skin to kill him and I lost cause of the draw. I was so close I could taste it. Fifth round, came in with Sherry at level 63, and still couldn’t one shot it, but tanked a Shadow Ball and Cynthia left him in. Downing him with Dazzling Gleam and felt I had a chance. Rebecca dealing with Milotic and Gastrodon and Chris dealing with Lucario and Roserade. Leaving just her Garchomp. Sending out Roserade who took and Earthquake and got off a Toxic. Sending in Mew for chip damage with Avalanche. Setting up a chip shot for Sherry, but when an Earthquake did not take him down. Cynthia opted for a Swords Dance and thanks to the Toxic damage. Was in range for Mew to finish him off and secured our place in the Hall of Fame. Finishing up the Pokedex and retired back home.
Kicking off the positives, I do really like how they kept the spirit and the strength of the Elite Four and Cynthia. Gardevior could have been a good counter, but was never going to out speed him. While, I thought Mew would have tilted the board. He was always a bit player on the team, and had she attacked, a second Earthquake would have killed him. You still need to strategize beforehand and that was great to see them carry into this game.
I did like the battle animations for the most part and how most of the characters looked in the battle scenes. Really stressing those scenes specifically. They do give you plenty to do Post Game. Places to go, legendries to capture and the national desk along with the Battle Tower. Which has never been my thing, but a lot of people like that. While I do like going to catch the Legendries, it probably won’t happen for me because…
This game is atrocious to look at. I thought maybe I could adapt to the Chibi art, but no. It actually got worse the more I played. Just started rushing my way through to get it done, and I have heard the argument that, that is how it has been, but the key is in the wording, HAS BEEN. It worked for the Gameboy advances and DS, but we moved on to people looking like people, in Let’s Go and Sword/Shield. If they are going to take from the past, bring in Megas or Z moves. Not the Chibis. All of the expressions were bad to the point of either laughter and after a while, eye rolls and annoyance and it really brings this game down a lot because of it.
Can’t believe I am going to say this, but the follow feature is terribly executed. I love the follow feature in Pokemon Games. So much fun seeing your Pokemon running behind you and interacting with them and they drop the ball so hard here. You are either outrunning them to the point it is sad or you bump into them and just looks strange. Granted, was fun trying to push them in front of trainers to see if they could block them and let me bypass a fight, but seemed off putting.
I can somewhat forgive them not having the Distortion World in this game. I still missed it. Really liked that world, but what I can’t is them keeping the problem with the fact there is only two lines of Fire Pokemon in this game. The Chimchar line and Ponyta. Platinum is right there. Could have at least brought them in to help build up the numbers, since they already knew this was a problem for Diamond and Pearl.
I will let you all in on something. May still be calling myself Genwunner, but after spending last year playing my way through the games. Favorite is Gen 5, and after playing Brilliant diamond. Hope there is no plans to remake it. This felt hollow when there was so much more they could have done. Really fleshed out the world more then they did. Not going to be someone who points out Breath of The Wild. Would have been happy to have this world done up with similar animations and art from Sword/Shield. Anything would have been better then this. And while you can still have fun with this game. Kids would probably enjoy it and that is what it is for really. First time players might enjoy it, but can’t suggest it over Diamond or Pearl and definitely not over Platinum. Final Grade – C-
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!